One of Facebook co-founders has warned that social networking plans for a digital currency called Libra could allow companies involved in the plan to exercise power over nations.
Chris Hughes, whose role in the first days of Facebook gave him a net worth estimated at $ 430 million (£ 340 million), said global regulators should intervene to slow the progress of crypto-economics.
Facebook is developing the Libra from a base in Switzerland in collaboration with 27 other companies, such as Mastercard, Paypal, Uber and Vodafone, collectively known as the Libra Association.
"If moderate success, the Libra will deliver much of monetary policy control from central banks to these private companies […], "Said Hughes, co-chair of the anti-poverty campaign group, for the Financial Security Plan.
"If global regulators do not act now, they could soon be too late."
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, offered a careful welcome to Libra in his speech at Mansion House's annual dinner on Thursday night.
But in an article on the Financial Times, Hughes warned that companies participating in the Libra Association, which have placed $ 10 million each in the project, will be in a position to "disturb and weaken" nations.
He warned that if several people in the emerging economies negotiate the local currency for Libra would threaten the ability of governments to manage their own fiscal policy. Emerging governments should put a temporary ban on local banks and payment processors to accept the currency until the consequences are studied, he said.
"What Libra supporters call" decentralization "is in fact a shifting of power from developing global central banks to multinational corporations and the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank," said Hughes.
He added that if Libra is successful, Facebook and its associates will have unjustified authority to develop a critical global technology such as identifying verification and effective writing of rules on issues such as privacy and reaction the theft.
Hughes said that anyone who believes his fears are excessive should consider how Facebook had a huge, sometimes negative, effect on other social strata.
"The company's decision to offer a live broadcast has allowed teenagers to hunt intimidation, terrorists to live a show and the actor to score massively," he said.
"It has also turned mobile messaging and news and journalism faster than many imagined."
The Guardian has approached Facebook for comments.